On February 8 (2012), eight young boys were slaughtered by American bombs as they tried to keep warm as they tended sheep. NATO apologized and excused themselves by saying, " “The decision to bomb this group was made because they were seen as adult-sized and moving in a tactical fashion", according to the New York Times. Relatives of the boys said that one boy was 12 and several others were younger. NATO countered this: “Our view is that initial assessment suggests they that they are closer to 15 to 16 with one older.”
This is not an isolated event. While MWC readers know this is not an isolated event, those that rely on mainstream media for their news probably don't know about this and the ongoing NATO atrocities that have been happening with disturbing regularity over the past number of years.
On February 4 The Bureau of Investigative Journalism issued a report entitled, "Obama terror drones: CIA tactics in Pakistan include targeting rescuers and funerals".
The report states that since Obama took office three years ago, "between 282 and 535 civilians have been credibly reported as killed including more than 60 children. A three month investigation including eye witness reports has found evidence that at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims. More than 20 civilians have also been attacked in deliberate strikes on funerals and mourners."
The report also states that unmanned Predator or Reaper strikes occur in Pakistan averaging one every four days. John Brennan, the president’s top counterterrorism adviser, argues that the US has the right to unilaterally strike terrorists anywhere in the world, not just what he called ‘hot battlefields’. The targeting of rescuers after an initial attack as well as funerals is clearly a deliberate massacre of civilians.
Many legal experts disagree with Brennan. "Naz Modirzadeh, Associate Director of the Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (HPCR) at Harvard University, said killing people at a rescue site may have no legal justification.
‘Not to mince words here, if it is not in a situation of armed conflict, unless it falls into the very narrow area of imminent threat then it is an extra-judicial execution’, she said. ‘We don’t even need to get to the nuance of who’s who, and are people there for rescue or not. Because each death is illegal. Each death is a murder in that case.’
Between May 2009 and June 2011, at least fifteen attacks on rescuers were reported by credible news media, including the New York Times, CNN, Associated Press, ABC News and Al Jazeera.
Overall, there have been approximately 3,000 killed in drone strikes and 175 of those killed are reported to be children. Of 314 strikes, 262 were carried out by Obama.
As human rights abuses go, as war crimes go, as crimes against humanity go, the dropping of bombs on populated areas is among the most egregious methods of mass murder in the history of humanity. Aside from recent drone attacks in Middle Eastern countries, many thousands have been slaughtered by NATO or American bombs in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Libya, Lebanon, Grenada, Yemen, Somalia, and Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and all the watchdogs that have the self appointed responsibility for raising the alarm about human rights abuses seem to overlook the dropping of bombs on civilians. They mention it when its status as a crime is not controversial but considering what is actually happening, perhaps it's fair to say they don't want to rock the American boat. The civilians that are killed in these bomb attacks are dead as surely as the Jews that died in Hitler's ovens. They live in terror as the people of New York felt on September 11, 2001 and they live with it on a daily basis.
If you compare this crime with torture, first degree murder, sex crimes or any conceivable crime, none can compare with the terror and suffering that accompanies the dropping of bombs on populated areas. Serial killers stalk, rape, and murder women and its front page news. Psychopaths cruelly carry out their nefarious deeds and it haunts our nightmares. Yet NATO murders as a matter of habit and we don't even notice.
The most outrageous act that has affected public consciousness in the West was the terrorist attacks on the twin towers in New York. That was the mother of all terrorist attacks. Those attacks have taken on an air of sanctity, of religious seriousness. There is not much argument from anywhere; those attacks were singularly brutal in their indiscriminate violence and they ripped through the collective consciousness of America. America has been changed by it and unfortunately, that change is not pretty. We are right to view this act with the horror and disgust that is the common reaction to them.
White House Mafia
The President of the United States recently carried out a ‘hit’ on Anwar al Awlaki. And what did he use to kill this American citizen? He used a bomb. He not only killed Awlaki but anybody that was in the vicinity. Did Obama care about anybody that was in the vicinity? No he did not. Did he care that he carried out an illegal murder of an American citizen?
A week later he killed Awlaki's 16 year old son, again with a bomb that killed anybody near the boy that might have been guilty of being Awlaki's son.
There is no member of organized crime families or street gangs that can come close to the psychopathic callousness found among those in the employ of the American state. Their lofty status does not make them immune from prosecution. Those that have attacked civilians and murdered them are guilty of war crimes. President Obama has joined an exclusive club. A club whose current members include but is not exclusive to Robert McNamara, Henry Kissinger, Bush Sr., Bush Jr., Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bill Clinton, Paul Wolfowitz.
Given the history, it's not much wonder we've come to expect the murder of civilians as par for the course. But when we consider the open boasting about the current savagery - as Obama basks in the limelight of extrajudicial murder, we may feel as if the most crude 'B' rated movies of late night TV, the movie where a mad man takes over the word, to be prophetic. We don't live in interesting times as much as we live in bizarre times.
To be fair, they do sometimes offer weak justifications for the ongoing mass murders. They will justify it and say that the terrorists are at fault for using human shields. That is why innocent people die. They imagine a scenario where the locals that are defending their invaded homeland (terrorists or 'insurgents) leave the home when the Americans approach, stand in the desert with an AK 47, and let the American bombs rain down on them as they shoot in the general direction of the planes that sail safely through the stratosphere and obliterate them.
Or, they may argue that terrorists live in the village and that the pragmatic utility of killing women and children justify getting the terrorists to save the lives of good clean 'White people'. When arguments are made in such a way, we know we are dealing with rationalizations that are not even vaguely connected to rationality.
In the coming months and years, it is likely that thousands of people; people that are now reading opinion pieces as you are reading this one, people that are being tucked into bed by their parents for a good night's sleep, people that are falling in love and people that are embarrassed because they said something silly, will be slaughtered by American or, NATO bombs. Those people will be guilty of being born in Iran.